For many, it may not feel like it, but the end of the year is already starting to draw near as November is about to come to an end. As we head into the New Year however, football fans will once again be following the biggest transfers that will come throughout January.
The start of next year may a look a little different for transfers for a number of reasons. The biggest perhaps is that the pandemic period this year has had a huge impact on football as a whole, as big changes were seen to get the leagues across Europe back underway.
The start of the 20/21 season had still been under some small risk, as a second wave had begun to spread which for some had threatened possible cancellations or postponements once again. With no fans in attendance at many events just yet, heading into the new year, teams may feel encouraged to do whatever they can to boost fan excitement and a huge new signing will definitely do that.
Another reason has been within the changing interest toward the transfer markets over the years as it has become much more heavily followed. So big in fact, that there is now an entire betting market for punters as some of the best sports betting sites in the United States and other parts of the world will take great odds on where a player may transfer too.
From what the cost of this is, and other factors throughout the transfer window. This has made the transfer period much more exciting to follow.
With that being said though, we’re going to take a look at some of the biggest possible transfers that may be coming in 2021 – why they may be leaving, and where they may end up.
Arguably one of the best players to ever touch the game, Lionel Messi’s accomplishments have always spoken for themselves. Spending his entire career at FC Barcelona, where he was first arrived at the age of 13; made his first appearance at 16, Messi took over the world of football with his exploits with the Catalan club.
Therefore, it have come as a surprise to many when he was seemingly in talks of leaving a few months ago with supposed disagreements with the Barcelona board.
Throughout August the situation with Messi was changing day by day, whilst Manchester City were looking to be in the strongest position to obtain him. With the supposed exit clause not being possible to pursue and the demand that his buyout clause being up to £500m, it was ultimately decided that Messi would remain at the club for another season.
This does open up the opportunity for a move in 2021, however. Messi and the club seem to be at loggerheads at once agin, this time over pay cut disagreements, and given Messi is already unhappy, it could fuel more interest in a change come 2021.
Manchester City will once again likely remain the favourites as they were earlier this year, but with more teams looking to secure a huge name to boost ratings, it does leave the door wide open for others to start putting in bids and offers to see where they land.
If he’ll leave, where he’ll end up, and the cost to whoever manages to pick him up in that situation is still largely unknown – but it will likely be a record deal if anything does materialise from it.
After being signed back in 2013 for a club record of £42.4 million from Real Madrid, the 32-year-old remained a vital part of the Arsenal roster throughout the years – but things haven’t been looking so great recently.
Although Ozil is one of the highest paid players at the club, receiving £350,000 per week, the German international is yet to appear for Arsenal at all this season under Mikel Arteta.
With the 25-man Premier League squad being announced with the absence of Ozil on the list, and also not being represented on the Europa League squad either, Ozil will now only be able to play for the Arsenal Under-23s until his deal expires in the summer of 2021.
While he’ll be unable to pursue a transfer in the January window unless a buyout can be made, it seems the approach is just to run the contract to an end and see what opportunities come afterwards. It may be difficult, signing a player that has not seen the field for over a year may make some clubs a bit more wary to take the plunge.
The young French forward currently playing for PSG has certainly shown his worth as one of the biggest rising stars in the sport. In the current 20/21 Ligue 1 season he has already put up four goals in four appearances, with four assists to add to that too. With a current estimated market value of around £162 million, he is certainly a huge prospect looking to make a move in 2021.
He has currently been linked with two teams – the first being Real Madrid, which seems to be a dream for the player, and currently remains the favourite move next year. Although his contract doesn’t expire until the middle of 2022, there are many suggesting that a Real Madrid buyout in 2021 could certainly be possible with the intent to move.
The other is with Liverpool. Supposedly being a big supporter of what Liverpool are building, it hasn’t been pushed out of the realm of possibilities that Mbappé could arrive in the Premier League next year and with a great relationship with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, fans remain optimistic that this could be the move.
With his contract still having a longer time remaining and being possibly one of the most valuable players in the world, however, it may take a bit of a shuffle to get him to either team. The January window will provide us with more of an idea of where Mbappe’s future lies, even though a winter transfer is unrealistic.